LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Patrick E. Stegall | Jan 24, 2013

Tennessee Methamphetamine Crimes

“Four pounds…we’re talking two, three hundred boxes of sinus pills. There ain’t that many smurfs in the world." –Breaking Bad

Tennessee Code Annotated Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 417 makes it a crime to manufacture, deliver or sell methamphetamine, or to possess with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver. If the amount is .5 grams or more the offense is a Class B felony punishable from 8-30 years, and if the amount is less than .5 grams the offense is a Class C felony punishable from 3-15 years. Fines of up to $100,000 will also apply.

Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-433 makes it a crime to promote methamphetamine manufacture. Promotion of meth manufacture can come in many forms. Selling, purchasing, acquiring or delivering any ingredient, chemical, drug or apparatus that can be used to produce meth, knowing it will be used to produce meth or with reckless disregard for its intended use is a crime. It is also a crime to purchase or possess more than nine grams of an immediate methamphetamine precursor with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, or deliver it to another person who they know intends to manufacture methamphetamine.

Finally, possession of more than 15 grams of an immediate methamphetamine precursor is prima facie evidence of criminal intent. “Prima facie" means that evidence alone, without being rebutted, would be enough to prove the state’s case. Violation of Tennessee’s methamphetamine promotion law is a Class D felony punishable from 2-12 years. Fines and forfeiture of property may also apply.

Immediate methamphetamine precursors include over the counter items such as ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. Tennessee methamphetamine laws have become very strict over the last few years when it comes to over the counter substances that could be used to produce methamphetamine. Pharmacies keep detailed, real-time records of the purchases of these substances such as sudafed, and in Tennessee an individual cannot buy more than 3.6 grams of a methamphetamine precursor per day, or more than 9 grams in 30-day period. A driver’s license is required to make the purchase, and the buyer’s name and address will be entered into the database. Purchases of these substances are strictly monitored. If a high number of Sudafed purchases are made by an individual over a period of time, the police will begin investigating and criminal charges could follow under Tennessee’s promotion of meth manufacture laws. Additionally, buying pseudoephedrine products for another or attempting to buy them with a fake id are crimes.

It is also a crime to initiate a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Under the law, “initiates" means to begin the extraction of an immediate methamphetamine precursor from a commercial product, to begin the active modification of a commercial product for use in methamphetamine creation, or to heat or combine any substance or substances that can be used in methamphetamine creation. Initiation is a Class B felony punishable up to 30 years.

Because of the number of serious crimes related to methamphetamine, it is important to consult a Memphis drug crimes lawyer if you or someone you know has been charged with violating these laws. The penalties can be harsh, but there may be ways to challenge the evidence, keep the offense off the individual’s record, or avoid jail time.

Patrick Stegall is a Memphis Tennessee meth possession lawyer. Because of changes to Tennessee’s meth laws, it is very easy to get charged with manufacturing, promoting or initiating methamphetamine. Strict electronic records of drug store purchases are watched by the police. If you need representation for your meth manufacturing charge, please visit Mr. Stegall online at http://www.stegall-law.com for more information.

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